“Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.’”
In every case of fraud we’ve ever encountered, the genuine came before the fraudulent. For instance, God spoke through His prophets long before false religion claimed to do the same; real spokesmen for God existed before the false prophets appeared. God’s infallible word was put down in writing before the fraudsters produced their own scriptures. In some cases, the counterfeit came very soon after the genuine. Paul was concerned that epistles were already in circulation that claimed to be from him (1 Thessalonians 2:1-2). Paul was also aware that competing religious philosophy existed that claimed Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Gospel for their own (2 Corinthians 11:3-4). The best way to spot the fraudulent is to have intimate knowledge of the original, the genuine. Only then will we be able to profitably “test all things” and “hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Let us be like those noble Berans, who, when confronted with the teachings of Paul, “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). When we see rainbows plastered everywhere throughout the month of June, we remember that God is the rainbow’s Designer and Creator; He gave the rainbow its true meaning first. When we hear about love and marriage, let us remember that God gave the original and proper definition of these things first. In every circumstance in which truth claims are made, let us consult God for His opinion on the matter. His word, like His character, is flawlessly true from the beginning (Proverbs 30:5-6; Psalm 119:160).
God bless you, dear student of the Scriptures!